Greenpeace Taiwan yesterday promoted its campaign to save the Arctic at a petition held at Taipei City’s 44 South Village (四四南村).
“The melting Arctic is under threat from oil drilling, industrial fishing and conflict. You can save the Arctic,” the group said in an online campaign initiated by Greenpeace International.
Greenpeace said the Arctic ocean has been frozen for more than 800,000 years. However, as much as three-quarters of the floating ice cap at the top of the world has been lost in the past 30 years, mainly because of the use of dirty fuels.
It is estimated that the Arctic conceals about 90 billion barrels of oil, which could supply global demand for about three years, the organization said, adding that there is a 20 percent spillage rate in Arctic oil explorations and it takes two years for leaks to be stopped, causing serious harm to natural ecology and threatening wildlife in the area.
The group cited research results in saying that the poles are warming at twice the speed of the rest of the world, so the Arctic is the most sensitive area facing global climate change.
“Protecting the ice means protecting us all,” the organization said, adding that Arctic ice reflects much of the sun’s heat back into space and keeps the whole planet cool, stabilizing weather systems that people depend on to grow food.
Moreover, there are only about 20,000 polar bears in the wild at present, but the rapid melting is making it difficult for them to survive. Scientists estimate that about 65 percent of the bears will be lost in the next 30 years, it added.